Replacing Google Reader and Re-Subscribing

You know I was going to write a post about Google Reader being shut down, but then Miss L got ill and everyone beat me to it!

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I’m personally trying to decide between Flipboard or BlogLovin’. Blog Lovin has a wonderful simple import from GReader button for the lazy – well it won me over. But I’m also looking forward to seeing Digg’s GReader clone when it’s finished, I think that might be a little bit special.

When I started looking properly at Google Reader to see what needed moving, I know a lot of my favourite bloggers aren’t about anymore. I started to read and I spotted something that broke my heart a little bit. Ages ago you could link Facebook Updates to Google Reader and I’d saved the last FB update one of my friends made before she died. I’ve just emailed it to myself, her FB account is now long gone and I miss her. It’s nice to read some of her words and hear her ‘voice’ again. It feels almost like I’m digitally hoarding something, but I can’t bear to part with it. One of those sad but happy moments at the same time.

If you’re wondering what to replace Google Reader with @paulbradshaw on Twitter tweeted this rather awesome list of RSS Readers and the details of each. I don’t know if he’s the original source but it’s a very useful document.

If you want to keep up with Violet Posy you can follow me on BlogLovin’, Facebook and Networked Blogs. and if you want my plain old feed it’s this http://violetposy.co.uk/feed/ or there is an email subscription top right. I’d be really grateful! x

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Half Term Fun

Sorry for the lack of posts, half term and then moving servers at the weekend all got in the way of my blogging.  But I *think* the site is working properly again, can you let me know if you find anything that looks a bit wonky?  I’m hoping to get some time this week and make the site more festive and maybe put in a magazine theme?

Anyway back to the weekend! On Friday we were fortunate enough to be invited to a Guinness Book of Records event at the Westfield Stratford Shopping Mall. It’s right next to the Olympic Stadium and park, so we finally saw all that which was fantastic having seen it on TV so much in the summer.

It’s actually pretty easy to get to from ours, straight down to Kings Cross, cross the road into St Pancras and then pop on the 6 minute Javelin train to Stratford. It’s so much easier to get there than somewhere like Bluewater for me, so I think it’ll be my new shopping center of choice when I need to do a big shop.

We had the top floor of a restaurant in the Mall and there was the most amazing face painter, well that’s actually too simplistic a term for what she was doing, I personally think she was an amazing artist. Miss L asked for ‘Space’ on her arm and I wanted something flowery (no surprise there!) but they were just amazing and done in such a short space of time.

Neither Miss L or I ever wanted to wash again and the pictures made it home intact until Betty decided to lick my arm! ick!

The kids and adults could all have a go at breaking a World Record, there was sock matching and balling (thank you to GWR my daughter is now really into sorting socks when I’ve done the washing!), most recognised sounds in a minute and the quickest stacking of 21 paper cups. Now this last one seemed to be the most popular and there was a lot of practising amongst the children and adults.

In the end there were five contenders for the paper stacking cup challenge, all on 18 seconds. After a tense finale I was very proud that Paul won! 21 cups in 16 seconds the new Guinness Book of Records holder!!  I don’t think Miss L has ever been more proud of her daddy, he on the other hand is a bit embarrassed! 🙂

Thank you @craigglenday for the photo

If you are in Westfield Stratford doing your Christmas shopping pop along to their Live Augmented Reality Experience where you can ‘meet’ all sorts of record breakers, it’s lots of fun.

Thank you so much to the Guinness Book of Records Team for such a fantastic day out, we really enjoyed it.

 

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Mummy’s (not) in the Picture

A friend shared this article “The Mom Stays in the Picture” from The Huffington Post on Facebook and it made a few of us quite teary.  It’s a beautiful article about how the writer Allison Tate who feels that as a mother her life now largely goes undocumented because of how she feels about herself now.  Allison is utterly right, I am the photographer/documenter of my daughter’s life, but I’m hardly ever in a photo with her or have an photos of me. Any Miss L takes of me…well generally they end up deleted.  Mostly because in my eyes I’m too fat or look too tired/old/grey/crap.

In fact in the run up to The Mads, they asked me for a family photo of the three of us and I realised the last one was taken on holiday by a Disney photographer in 2009.  I just didn’t have anything more recent than that, which was a bit embarrassing to admit for someone known for taking loads of photos!

So I’m changing this, from now on I will accost strangers to take our photo, use Phootbooth to take silly ones, and let my girl take more photos of me and I’ll stop worrying about looking crap/fat/old.  So to kick myself off here is the latest photo that was taken of me and Miss L a month ago (snapped by my Dad as we were Harvest Decorating their local church windows)

Thank you Allison Tate, I think you’ve woken a lot of us up!  Who’s joining us?

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An Evening Out

I had the most wonderful time at The Mads on Friday, it was so lovely catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones.  Thank you for voting for me so I could be there! I didn’t win, Heather from Growing Spaces did – hurray! Her blog is fabulous and it was so well deserved – go and check her out. I want her home 🙂

The finalists were really spoilt as we had onsite hair and make up – get in! Just as well as my hair had gone into a Kate Bush style, just huge and curly. Luckily the hairdresser tamed it and then a lovely makeup artist called Sue, sorted out my face. I forgot to take any photos with me in, too busy talking!  But I found this nice one on the Tots100 instagram stream, I’m sitting with Elaine from Mortgage Free in Three who was wearing the most amazing dress!

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As you can see everyone was in a party mood.  I had a good catch up with the very lovely Becky from Baby Budgeting and my fellow Geek Mum, Ruth from GeekMummy (bottom right photo)…

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…(bottom left photo) the stunning Mirka from All Baby Advice and Kat from Slugs on the Refrigerator (who was the big winner of the night – yay!).  Pippa from A Mother’s Ramblings (bottom right photo) who had me in hysterics as usual, she is one of the funniest women I know. I also got to meet for the first time Jen from Love Chic Living which was great as we’ve chatted so much on here and twitter but I didn’t managed to snap a photo of her).
It was a wonderful evening and many thanks to Sally and her team for organizing it and giving us bloggers such a great night out.
 

 

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{Sponsored Post} Mr Kipling Competition

What’s your favourite Mr Kipling cake? (mine’s without question Battenburg – yum!)
Are you an Angel Slice lover or is the classic Cherry Bakewell what floats your boat. Mr Kipling is putting this question to the nation with the launch of the new Kipling Cup competition.
Simply vote for your favourite Mr Kipling cake as it goes head to head with other Mr Kipling favourites. There is still time to vote with a quarter final, semi -final and grand final where the winning cake will be crowned.
After the first round of votes the classic Cherry Bakewell was leading the race with 4,898 votes, with the Viennese Whirl coming up a close second with 4,406 votes. Regionally it seems Londoners are mainly Cherry Bakewell fans while cake lovers in Edinburgh are all about the Bramley Apple.
So what’s your favourite? Get voting at www.kiplingcup.com or get your friends involved and you could win four packs of your favourite Mr Kipling or if your cake wins a round you could win a year’s supply of cake – now that would be something to get exceedingly excited about.
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Half Term Fun At The Guinness Book of Records

Last week was the first week of our autumn half term and well it was more than a little bit manic!  I don’t think we have stopped all week, but it’s been lovely catching up with friends old and new.

We had a fantastic day out in London at the Headquarters of the Guinness Book of Records – how cool is that?  There were loads of bloggers there with their children and we had a fantastic fun packed day. Miss L had a great time making new friends and I have never seen a bunch of children so excited about being on a trip to an event.

The team there were brilliant and entertained us all for hours. I can’t thank them enough for what I think was the best blogging day out I’ve been on yet.  Miss L actually was allowed to try and break the Guinness World Record of stacking dice in 30 seconds.  She managed to equal it but didn’t break it, she’ll be practicing at home all the time now 🙂

The highlight of my day (because I am a small child at heart) was being given a lift back to the station on the world’s fastest sofa!  You have no idea how much fun it was and how many people laughed as they saw us go past, I was waving at everyone like an utter idiot but it was so much fun.

Thank you to the whole team for such a great day!

 

 

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The Awards…

Friday was a huge amount of fun, despite the heat in London and my mistake of wearing heels for the first time in 2 years!  It was so lovely to meet so many bloggers who I’ve only ever spoken too online before, and to catch up in person with lots of people I only get to see occasionally.

Thanks Nickie @ Typecast for the photo x

I didn’t win, the well deserved prize went to the fabulous Ruth at Geek Mummy  –  but to be honest it felt like winning just being there and having my name called out and doing an impromptu dance with my fellow nominees when Ruth won!

There was such a good vibe there, everyone was cheering everyone else on and you could really feel the community that the bloggers there had.

As you can see everyone was dressed to the nine and my personal favourite outfit of the night belonged to Lisa of Mummy Whisperer who won the best Business Blog. She had the most stunning blue dress from TKMaxx, you can see it in the bottom left photo.

I had a great time and I’d really like to thank the MADS team for such a great event and all their hard work for putting it together, we all really appreciated it x

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CyberMummy Trip

Cybermummy this year was a lot of fun, we had a bumpy start getting there.   Kat and I met up very early on the platform at Ely and then met Karen at Cambridge for our trip down. We were having a good old chat when we realised our train had stopped outside of Letchworth, and the train driver said he needed to ‘reboot’ the train (never a good sign) eventually they gave up and kicked us all off the train.  So we caught the next train which stopped at every station into London and we got to Cybermummy an hour later than we meant to.

But we got there in time for the commencing speakers and to see the amazing room of 400 plus bloggers all in one place.  I enjoyed hearing about Facebook from Lord Richard Allan and how they are trying to improve their reporting systems (they need to!)

Then listening to Sarah Brown.  She was such an engaging and interesting speaker with such passion for her charity Piggy Bank Kids, I could have happily listened to her for much longer.

I must admit the only breakout session I went to was Jay’s photography workshop, which was just amazing. Fun and informative and gave me a new perspective of taking photos and how to use a camera (I’m now saving up for a fancy DSLR!). Big thanks to Rachael for being my muse!


Then I pretty much hung out in the chill out room being massaged, made over and chatting to old blogging friends Justine, Jen, Rachael, Clare, Emma, Erica, Jo, Tara,  and also met some I’ve only known online Sam, Fenngirl, notSupermum, Spudballoo, Chet which was fabulous they are as lovely as their blogs!.  There were so many people there though and I missed loads of people I wanted to talk to but I’m hoping to chat to them all next year.

Here are my not very good photos of the day – photography is going to be new thing to learn:

 

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Cybermummy 11

I’m off down to London tomorrow with my blogging pals Kat from 3 Bedroom Bungalow and Karen from Rubbish Diet to Cybermummy 11 (in a Brewery, somewhere in London – seems appropriate!)  I have to say I’m really looking forward to it,  last year was amazing.  I got to meet so many people that I  chat to online, read their blogs – although a little scary at first –  it was wonderful.  And this year I’m hoping to catch all the people I missed last year – big room easily done!

I know I’m a bit late to this as I’ve read loads of these in the last couple of months but here’s my meet and greet – if you see me come and say Hi! 🙂

So here’s mine:

Name:   Liz Grayson
Blog:   Violet Posy (www.violetposy.co.uk)
Twitter ID:   @violetposy
Height:   5ft 4
Hair:   Long dark brown and hopefully straight if the hairdresser get’s it right today.
Eyes:   Green/Hazel
Likes:   Technology, Shabby Chic, Cath Kidston, Monsoon, Shopping and has a massive magazine collection. Life long techie and bit of a sci fi geek.

I’m going to be in a long dark blue top, Jeans and Converse with a glass of wine in my hand and my iPhone in the other (not bringing the iPad this year too much to carry!)

Look forward to meeting you all!

 

 

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Day out in London

Yesterday I was invited down to London by Nokia for a focus group meeting with fellow geek mummies Jen (http://www.jenography.typepad.com), Liz (http://missielizzie-meandmyshadow.blogspot.com), Katie (http://www.feedingboys.wordpress.com) and Janis (http://mumversuskids.reallykidfriendly.com).  What a fabulously fun day, I don’t think I’ve laughed so much for ages discussing how we use tech in our lives.

It was mediated by Belinda who’s the founder of Lady Geek which is a fabulous female focused tech site – check it out if you want the low down on gadgets and apps from a female persepective.   It was good to hear such positivity from women about using tech gadgets and how all of us are pretty much addicted to our phones and laptops – it’s not just me! 🙂  Nokia have given me some toys to play with for 3 weeks (phone, bluetooth, mobile battery and speaker) and I’ll let you know what they’re like after the Easter Holidays.

After a wonderful sunny lunch with the ladies, I headed off to meet one of my oldest friends for a catch up. We’d not seen each other for I think about 6 years so it was great to see each other actually in person rather than on the phone or Facebook. We met up down by the river, had a good old chat and had some fabulous Italian dinner down at Borough Market – to the point I lost track of time and I forgot to go to a Blogger thing I’d been invited to at Conran’s. I feel awful but catching up with a friend was way more important.

The best bit about yesterday was rediscovering how much I love London in the spring, there’s such a cafe culture there now from Soho where the meeting was, to down by the Thames.  Everyone was out drinking and eating and having fun it was a brilliant vibe.  I didn’t take as many photos as I wanted as my phone battery died, but here’s a few that I took of such a great day.


 

 

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CyberMummy

How much fun can you have in one day?  Finally meeting all my blogger friends at CyberMummy was fantastic!

I started very very early on Saturday morning and caught the train down with Kat from 3Bedroom, Karen from Rubbish Diet who also bought along the wonderful Lucy (fellow Surrey girl in East Anglia who misses trees!) who’s just starting out as a blogger and wanted some inspiration.  We had such a laugh on the way down we kind of lost track of time and were nearly there late.  But once in the venue there were so many people to meet and I loved meeting them all. It was really a lot to take in at once and I’m sure I met some people who I forgot their names, but I have their blog cards so will be checking them out.

Karen & Lucy
Karen & Lucy

Kat

The sessions were mostly interesting.  I really liked the content session with Josie from Sleep is for the Weak, who gave a brilliant inspirational speech about being yourself on your blog and writing from the heart.  India Knight was fabulous – nothing prepared, just sat there and talked about writing and blogging.

I sat in on the Stats & Influence sessions but frankly it wasn’t anything I didn’t already know, which was a shame. I did get annoyed with the comments from MumsNet founder who obviously holds her IT department in some contempt. They use Macs and change the site without testing it in IE….I bet they did test and it still looked like it always does which as far as I can see is part of their ‘brand’ and apparently is how their users like it.  You have an internet company love, be nice to your techies.

Jay & Me

My favourite session was ‘Working with brands the tricky business of making money’ because it’s the one I struggle with.  I never know about advertising and have gone with the wise advice of Natalie Lue.  But it was great to hear from Marketing folk that you are fine to say no, write a bad review and if you’re not comfortable – don’t do it!  Also my new hero Gina from Blogher was there, she was amazing and I’m now very jealous of all those lucky people who are going to the Blogher conference in New York next month! All the sessions were live blogged so if you’d like to read them pop over here

Then we had the Keynote speeches where bloggers read their own posts – Sandy Calico from Baby, Baby read her post about her father and the day he died – the whole room was in tears. She was marvellous,  as were all the other keynote speakers, I was so proud of them all they made us laugh and cry some more.

After the emotional ending we had a pub quiz, a massive draw where I think pretty much everyone won something – thankfully mine was a Club Penguin membership which I’ve given to Miss L *phew* and then lots of wine was drunk and fun was had.  I’d like to say a massive thankyou to Susanna, Sian & Jen for arranging it and for the great day we had.  And thanks to all the people who came and found me for a chat it was really, really lovely to meet you all and so sorry to anyone I missed – next time I’ll grab you for a chat!

If you’d like to see photos from the day I’ve set up a Flickr group here and if you were there and you have any feel free to add them – we’d all love to see them

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CyberMummy is almost here….

After many, many months of planning, building website and blogs for it – CyberMummy is almost here.  For those of you who are wondering what on earth I’m going on about, CyberMummy is a parent blogging conference in London (a bit like the Blogher conference) and it’s on Saturday.   I’m travelling down with Karen from Rubbish Diet and Kat from 3 Bedroom which will be fun in itself! But I’m also going to meet most of my Twitter ‘Family’ as Paul and Miss L finally in person – which will be fantastic.  But everyone please forgive me if I forget your actual name and start calling you by your twitter name – I will answer to Violet no problem 😉

I’ve umm’d and arrr’d for weeks about what to wear and I’ve finally settled on jeans, converse & a black top (pretty much my uniform but I might as well go as me!) and I have my small Cath Kidston overnight bag packed with everything I need to stay over in London for the night.

There are going to be some amazing speakers there, some of the founders of Blogher, India Knight from The Times, and some of my favourite Bloggers. So I’m expecting it to be inspirational and lots of fun. And if you are interested check the CyberMummy Blog for the live blogging of the sessions.

For those of you who are going I’ve created a Flickr group for us to share photos and video, so feel free to add your contributions.

I can’t wait to meet you all!

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CyberMummy Meet and Greet

Carly over at Mummy’s Shoes came up with a great idea of everyone introducing themselves if they were going to CyberMummy in July.  So we know what everyone looks like and for what blog they write for.

So here’s mine:

Name:   Liz Grayson
Blog:   Violet Posy (www.violetposy.co.uk)
Twitter ID:   @violetposy
Height:   5ft 4
Hair:   Longish dark brown bob
Eyes:   Green/Hazel
Likes:   Technology, Shabby Chic, Cath Kidston, Monsoon, Shopping and has a massive magazine collection. Life long techie and bit of a sci fi geek.

I like to think I’ll be wearing a Maxi Dress to Cybermummy but you’re more likely to find me in T-Shirt, Jeans and Converse with a glass of wine in my hand and an iPad in the other 🙂

Look forward to meeting you all!

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